tv MSNBC Live MSNBC February 11, 2013 11:00am-12:00pm EST
prime minister saying he's greatly shaken by the unexpected news. and british prime minister david cameron said he will be missed as a spiritual leader for millions. and from angela merkel -- he had to make a difficult decision. just some of the reaction that's coming in today. joining mess is rome bureau chief claudio lavagna, and george weigel from washington. claudio, i want to start with you. we have part of the pope's statement. in it he said that both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength in the last few months has deteriorated to me to the extend i have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry. with hindsight being 20/20, had there been any rumors that something like this was coming? >> reporter: we possibly benedict xvi even hinted at it
himself, he said if he felt his strength and his body wasn't up to speed to comply with the duties that were -- that are expected of a pontiff, and very heavy duties like traveling around, attending ceremonies, working nonstop. at 85, that's tiring for everybody, for any man his age, let alone a pontiff and the pope and leader of 1 billion catholics around the world, but nobody really believed that would happen or nobody believed that would happen before at least next year, because this, maybe i remind you, is the year of the faith. so that came as a surprise to everybody, as you heard card natural dolan doesn't know about it. certainly he is not the only one, because the spokesperson for the vatican even said he was shocked. he didn't see it coming, and so
didn't his closest aides. >> as we know, when benedict was named as pope, he was one of the oldest popes to take over that job. george, let me talk to you about the fact that we are hearing all the different reactions coming in now just from house speaker john boehner, saying americans were inspired by his visit and his quiet steady leadership in uncertain times. this unique and historic moment in time, george, that we're watching. explain to us the process of what happens after february 28th. >> well, thomas, we're actually all waiting to find out, because as you noted at the beginning this hasn't happened in 719 years, so there's no playbook ready to go. the pope made a manifestation of his will today, indicating that as of 8:00 p.m. rome time,
february 28th, he is no longer the pope. so that's that. i don't think there's going to be any ceremony marking this. he has indicated that that is what he has decided, and in the law of the church, that settles the question. whether the cardinals, who i suspect will be going to rome within the next several days, decide to have four or five days of formal consultations before they lock themselves up in the conclave to elect a new pope, we -- -- for this man who has often had a hard time with his public image, who has been the victim frankly of a cartoon presentation of himself by many of his enemies, but whom people
seem to have come to understand as a man of god, a real pastor, one of the most learned men in the world, and someone who had a unique capacity to make the christian proposal in a winsome and compelling way. >> in the shortest period of time, modern catholics have been exposed to this pope, one thing we have learned, george, he was a conservative theologian, who came in trying to radio traditionalized catholic church, as he spoke out, the world is changing gej marriage equality, calling it a manipulation of nature, he also opposed the topic of female priests as well as stem cell research. so from from your perspective, what will the legacy endorse? >> let's save us some trouble that thinking that a change of pope is like a change of
governor. the church has certain settled understandings, and they will not change. they involve several of the issues you just described. so we shouldn't waste time among ourselves chattering about this, that or the other thing. what the cardinals are looking for, i expect, is someone who will put a positive face on the catholic church action who will be able to be a missionary pope, who will make clear that every time the church says no to something, it's on the basis of a high other and more compelling yes to something else. catholic church is in the business of aforming the dignity of the human person under very difficult cultural circumstances, and the next pope is going to have to be able to take take up that mantel. >> thank you both. again, gentlemen, thanks so much. now we want to move to our
other big story. as we talked about gun control, nbc news has kicked off a special week-long look of gun violence and gun ownership. tomorrow night the state of the union address will be packed with survivors of gun violence courtesy of a handful of members of congress. we have a problem. where we shop, where we pray, where our children go to school. but there are solutions we can agree on, even gun owners like us. joining us, joe courtney.
i just want to point out where that ad will air in san francisco, louisville, and las vegas. the minority leader, she has an "f" rating by the nra. harry reid has a "b" rating. one thing we also know is lawmakers are offering their tickets to certain vice presidents. we now you're taking a wounded warrior as your plus one. explain what the strategy is by having someone in teenance that suffered gun violence? >> i think we want to put a human face on this issue, because at some point, you know, we have to debate it in terms of constitutional sinuses. how a university background
check would work, but at the end of the day, this is really about the unacceptable levels of violence that ordinary americans are suffering every single day because of totally out of control system of gun ownership, which allows guns, very dangerous guns to get in the hands of the wrong people. one has said that it's not going to happen until the heat is on and members are feeling the heat every day. however, when the mayor of new orleans, mitch landrieu had a chance to speak with lester holt, he said it's more of a blinders-style view of how we're all talking about gun control. take a listen. >> it is absolutely too narrow and too simplistic, as though if you just ban assault weapons, somehow the murder rate in the country will go down automatically. it will not. >> sir, how do you respond to that? >> i think that's a very unfair
characterization of the president's package, which was very broad based. obviously the proliferation of guns is a big part of it, but the fact is he's investing record sums of resources into mental health counseling. we're looking at school safety issues, and again there's a broad array of issues here that the mayor, i think really sold the president short in terms of his characterization of what we're talking about here. i sit on the education committee the republican chairman and the house has scheduled a hearing at the end of this month on school safety. we know this is not a one-issue, one agenda package in terms of reducing the amount of gun violence in this country. i give the president very high marks. he came to connecticut two months ago and made a pledge to the people in that room at newtown, that this is not an incident that will be a news cycle story that's forgotten.
he has maintained the pressure, and obviously the effort to organize these folks coming to washington tomorrow is part of that campaign, which again, i fully expect to stay very intense and my colleague gabby, who was in my class of 2006 is doing a great job with her husband mark to be part of that. >> congressman, real quickly, before we let you go, you sit on the education committee. one thing you're making headlines for is you have sent a her to steven spielberg complaining that "lincoln" is historically inaccurate. in reality, the state's representatives at the time voted for the bill that abolished slavery. what kind of response have you gotten? >> it's remarkable. certainly back home people have been thanking me, because it was such an incredibly meticulous movie in terms of the historical accuracy. it's a brilliant movie, but it will be an educational tool someday, and kids will be
watching this in classrooms, and, but the fact is connecticut abolished slavery in 1848, we emancipated children of slaves in 1784, and we had a very strong delegation in 1865, really interesting people who were very active in the abolition movement who unfortunately their legacy is completely distorted. we're hoping, really, this is not intended to, you know, be a negative attack on the movie. it's really just an attempt to try and say, okay, when it's time for difd release, let's help the viewer understand in the case of connecticut action it was a leader in the effort to abolish slavery and advance human rights. >> connecticut congressman joe courtney, thanks for making time for me. i appreciate it. >> thank you. yes, i'm going to ask my colleagues, just like they did with john bolton joe biden said no confirmation without information. >> that was senator graham threatening to block the
nominations. what graham is demanding. plus dick cheney's rip of the president's picks. plus the in. ra, the keep to republicans winning over women. i'm going to ask steve la tourette why the gop should cut ties with the powerful lobby to gain the women's vote. the pope citing his age and failing health. weigh in on facebook or find me at twitter. all stations come over to mission a for a final go. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers. how did i know? well, i didn't really.
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lady attended the funeral. the young girl who was killed performed the president's inauguration at the end of january. as the president gets ready to deliver the state of the union address, poll is finding most persons -- the quinn pillian poll asking in his address, 35% say the economy. 20% want to hear about the federal deficit. 15% want to hear about gun policy. 12% interested in health care. my political power panel joins my about more about this. doug is a democrat tick strat jill. hogan go aheadly is a republican strategist. great to see all three of you. let's figure out exactly what's going on with the president and establishing the state of union, as we look at those numbers, ruth. the economy has certainly been something we talked about for a long time. the sequester is looming. how much does the president go
after his adremember sears tomorrow night. >> well, i guess the storm is stay tuned. i'm a bit confused about the white house's approach to the speech. we do have -- -- a huge issue for every american in the inaugural. now we hear the economy is going to be back here a lot, but -- and we know what the president's approach is, especially to the sequester that we need to have a builded approach. and so, therefore, by definition in a sense it's got to be confrontational, because that is not the view of the republicans whose help he's going to need at least on the house side in order to avert the sequester, which doesn't look like it's going to happen. i would say the state of the union is pretty fractured and argumentative right now. i think that will come through to some extent in the speech. >> when we looked, though, at the quinnipiac poll, though,
logan, a percent says they trust president obama to be able to lead on the -- at 41%. there we have it. do you think and do you agree with ruth, as she said stay tuned for tomorrow night, but do you agree with the fact that the president as somewhat predicted, will come out swinging, but find the right balance and right tone? >> yeah, look, i'm speaking as a republican obviously, but 66 million people voted for this guy, 61 million people voted to fire him. that's a pretty interesting dynamic. the company is still very fractured, she's absolutely right about that. the he can make claims, and push the republicans along, but if he's going to lead, i'm going to say he's probably going to need to anger a few democrats as
well. if he comes out of this speech, republicans and democrats are a bit concerned, i think he's actually won something here. he will look as though he's a person trying to move the ball forward. he's the only one who will appear to aunds you have to give to get. right now the republicans seem to be dug in, the republicans are just fine with the way the president is doing thing, but if the president says, we're going to have to make some cuts in medicare, i think you'll see a circus on the left. it won't just be the right. >> so, doug, the articles on politico, as we look at them, they use the language aggressive, and convince the gop is unwilling to cut deals, the president is planning to issue another broad challenge at a republican party he regards as being vulnerable and divided. now, after the speech -- >> i would throw in dysfungal
too. we'll let you throw that in, but everyone comes from a dysfunctional family, doug. he's going to go to asheville, atlanta, chicago, so that's where he'll go after this. do you think he'll be swinging for the fences, so to speak? the inaugural was big and bold. it seems like i have to drill down to the pillars of the foundation. >> first to hogan's point, he has actually said some things about medicare that as angered the left. he as not -- he has talked about chain, cpi, some things that the left is not very pleased with. remember, he signed into law over $2 trillion in cuts. so it's not as if the president has been unwilling to talk about cuts. i think now is the opportunity for the president and republicans to come back to the table and finish this out. you know there's about a 1.5 trillion that needs to be dealt with to avoid sequester. the president has put a plan on
the table. it should be balanced. that's what the american people voted for, and we hadn't heard much from republicans. it looked like they're just sitting on their hands waiting for a sequester to happen and trying to blame the president for it. with their approval numbers, that's going to be hard to do. >> one thing i want to get on a record, and i know we have an abbreviated time. the tea party statement is going to be delivered as well as the republican response by senator marco rubio, but senator rand paul will deliver the -- anyway, our power panel, thanks so much. as the president is getting ready to make his address, we had to know what you this i is the state of our union. here is my answer, proud and ready for what's next. what's yours? take a picture, or share it with us on twitter and instagram.
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♪ after all, what's the point of talking if you don't have something important to say? ♪ so one former republican congressman thinks the gop needs to dump the nra to win over an important group called women. at a recent study backing him is this, suggesting the issue of guns will drive more women to the polls. former ohio republican congressman steve la tourette joins me. ivity to point out you had an "a" rating from the nra during your time in congress, but a few polls are showing that more women want to control gun ownership, more men want to protect gun rights. so do you think that dumping the nra based on that is really
enough to bring and woo women back to the rep party? >> i don't think dumping the nra. i think where republicans run afoul on a lot of issues, is they're seen as a party that doesn't want to talk about the issue. there are a number of solutions that would actually do something to reduce gun violence and certainly school shootings, but when you dig in your heels and say we're not going to talk about background checks, that's what turns a lot of people off, including women. >> do you think it's more about the lack of a common-sense approach to the debate, the conversation? >> i do, actually, because, you know, in your previous segments you had the mayor of new orleans, and i think anybody that looks at it clearly said that banning assault weapons isn't going to top is it because there's 3.5 million of those out there, but the president's focus on mental health, making sure that guns don't get in the hands of criminals or the mentally ill, that should be the focus and something that people should
be able to work out. >> it seems as though the gun violence debate is a hot potato. however, the poison pill that was expected is the impending sequester. >> sure. >> the next spending fight unfolding in washington. we point out the march 1st deadline, you're pushing for more long-term comprehensive planning, but i want to play for you congressman tome cole today from oklahoma on "morning joe." >> the idea there would be more revenue is not going to occur. the cuts in law, they'll happen. we would like to redistrict them, but they need to take place. >> so on the other side of things we have nancy pelosi saying there aren't spending problems. where is the middle ground? >> the middle ground is you have to deal with this the way that you and i would deal with it at home. you can't do something for two months or five months or six months. you have to look out over ten years. that's why simpson bowles, you
pick one. the alternative minimum fix, if you accommodate them in a thoughtful plan. sadly what congress and the president has looked at rosily is this month it's taxes on rich people, next month it's sequestration. it's not a way to do business. >> steve latourette, thank you for your time. still ahead, we continue to monitor the big news coming from italy. who tops the list of those who could be the next pope? plus we'll have reaction from clergy here in the united states. and this afternoon congress will once again take up the violence against women act. congresswoman gwen moore joins me to talk about what made this not so controversial legislation political incendiary. yes she is, yes she is. [ bop ]
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bring you up to date. pope benedict xiv making the extraordinary announcement that he's abdicating his position. he'll be the first pope to step down in 719 years. the pontiff citing his deteriorating strength and his age. he's 85-year-old. he'll be 86 in april. he has served as pope for less than eight year. ray flynn is joining muss and monsignor thomas mcsweenie. are you surprised for this tectonic shift? >> i've known cardinal ratzinger now pope benedict xiv, many years before he was hope. i'm not surprised at the decision. he always said his papacy would
be determined on his strength, his ability to serve god and the church in the most effective way that he possibly can, and those of us who studied the papacy and studied what's going on in rome know that the holy father has been in declining health. he has made an incredible sacrifice to the church and to society by stepping down, leading the way to somebody stronger with more opportunity to reach out to so i think this is a great sacrifice. but one he always said what was in the best interests of god and church. >> monsignor, this is a shock to the catholic community, but what does it mean for the conclave that now will meet after february 28th, and who potential could be the next pope? what names would you suggest? >> i think i would be way ahead of myself, thomas if i even went
there at all. what you want to concentrate on is the qualities that people will be looking forward to in the next pope. as so many people have mentioned here part of the american catholic experience, we've faced a real ebb in things catholic. our baptisms are down, vocations are down, catholic weddings are down, practices catholics is down. i think there will be a great expectations that the next pope would follow through on something that benedict himself this instituted, a new eadvantagelization, a way to reframe all the church's positions on all those moral issue that is connect with our strong desire to live our faith on a day-to-day basis. i think we would be looking for vigorous and dynamic leadership, perhaps in the mold of john paul ii.
>> archbishop of milan, the archbishop of vienna, gmt enoa, italy, two vatican cardinals in the mix, do you agree with the monsignor about the qualities of what needs to be considered as we look to who would take benedict's place? >> yes, i think the monsignor is absolutely -- as somebody who has studied this, the church has become quite diverse. while there's been a decline of things catholic in places like the united states, that is not the case in places like africa, latin, central america, central mexico. the activity has quite energized, so make a prediction that you'll see a greater voice of those communities, nigeria, brazil, mexico, because the catholic church and the conclave in particular has become more
diversified over the years. don't forget john paul ii was the first known italian in 453 years, nobody ever believed that, so here we are 2013, and you might see a seismic change again. >> ray flynn, monsignor tom mcsweeny, thank you for joining me. i really appreciate it. the big question -- what does it mean for american catholics? we'll talk about anne thompson, live at st. path rick's cathedral, coming up in a few moments. and our question to you today, is benedict doing the right thing? weigh in on facebook or find us on twitter. well, in other news today the so-called gop war on women was one of the dominating discussions of the 2012 elections. it is a conversation that will le revisited this afternoon as the senate is once again poised to take up the violence against
women act. it's a act reauthorized since 1984 without a hitch, until last year. it was defeated in part in republican resist yanks to added protections. joining me is gwen moore, who powerfully spoke of her own rape on the house floor. and the representative from naral. first of all, congratulations taking over the mantle of naral, but you also had written about the actions of the minority make our great nation a hypocrite in the eyes of so many around the world. so in lieu of what we expect this afternoon, how worried are you we could see some other signals of defeat? >> i am not that worried. i mean, i think people are
understanding that the flip side of the war on women is the empowerment of women. we're seeing that come through in almost every story you've covered, right? women are making changes in gun policy. women are actually leading on what our health and reproductive choices look like. that's because we're a coveted demographic, and we have dreams and thoughts and desires about how this country should be run that we're not willing to forgo. >> i added when we talked about this the fact that the hitch last year was the resistance to added protections against lbgt, illegal immigrants, native-americans. what is the climate currently with regard to provisions ahead of this afternoon's vote? >> i agree with ilyse. there's a groundswell of support not only among women, but in the rep caucus. i think we're being held up by just a few people let by the majority leader eric cantor, who
is resistant to providing protections for native-american women, but there's a lot of work behind the scenes to change that. we've got 193 co-sponsors in the house, none republican, of course, so we see this bill having the capacity toss passed overwhelmingly if eric cantor would just let it go. just recently eric said, oh, we love women, but let me tell you women are being loved to death every day. three women die every day. 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted or victims are domestic violence, and 1 in 6 women in america survive sexual assault. native-american women are 2 1/2 times as likely to be battered or sexually assaulted, and there are no adequate protections for them. we need this bill. let this bill go, eric cantor.
>> one thing, ilyse, i want to bring up is we look at statehouses around the country there are ones targeting women's rights. it tends to be a huge issue in places like tennessee, where a bill on the table would require an ultra-sound before abortions, remember doctors -- in michigan, a conservative lawmakers, i want to step even further pushing for a transadvantagible ultra-sound. bills are alive in kentucky, arkansas and north dakota still. so in your estimation, how are lawmakers able to push through policies transadvantagibles ultra-sounds and other invasive procedures, that women overwhelmingly don't want them? >> what we're seeing is a process where it takes a while for some politicians to catch ultimate to cultural reality. there's no doubt that very real women are victimized by that.
i also think we're seeing the civil effect of the republican party, the same thing that leads us to two responses to the state of the union and what representative moore talked about. they're republicans who see the writing on the wall, but those who are most threatened, those who fear women actually having the kind of power that would allow us to take full charge of our lives, this is their last dying gasp, and we've got to bring and protect all women along with us. >> we're going to watch and see what happens this afternoon. thank you both, i appreciate your time today. >> thank you too, thomas. >> thank you. >> absolutely. one of the president's cabinet nominees saysing it bring up the nomination of chuck hagel as defense secretary tomorrow for a vote. at least one senator is threatening to block his and john brennan's nomination. senator lindsey graham says he wants more information on the attack on benghazi.
independents hagel to be confirmed to secretary of defense until the white house gives us an accounting. >> former vice president and defense secretary dick cheney on the report new his speech. he called president obama's choices for his second terminal security team second rate. [ male announcer ] eligible for medicare? that's a good thing,
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>> i would say it would be best today to concentrate on really what is a prayerful decision that a hole father makes, obviously a surprise to me. >> i suppose maybe ten years ago there would an irony of finding out about it from an e-mail, but this is so very much the way life is today. >> and the pope is on twitter. anne thompson is live outside new york's st. patrick's cathedral. anne thompson is on twitter. you were talking about the fact that benedict and john paul have established the cardinals who will be electing who comes next. what does it mean for u.s. catholics, ann? >> i think the first thing is u.s. catholics are just trying to process this information. i was on the "today" set this morning when cardinal dolan came in to talk to matt and savannah,
and he was as shocked as anyone. i asked him, what do you think this means? he said remember who pope benedict xiv is. he is, before he was the pope, he joseph ratzinger, and a profe professor. that's what he wanted to do in retirement. they is a theologian in part, so it's not surprised in that regard. pope watched the church deal with that difficulty as well as the scandals that many felt that they were flat-footed in responding to. >> well, again they're going to be conclave after the 28th. we'll know for the new season of easter who the new pope will be. ann, thanks so much. so another horrific incident
of gun violence, this time in delaware. a man shot his wife and a new woman at the newcastle courthouse this morning. the suspect also wounded two police officers. the suspect killed by police. here's a look at what else is topping the news. the lapd is over a record $1 million reward to find chris dorner. the lapd says they will reopened the investigation that led to his firing. he's wanted for a killing spree in revenge for his dismissal. hundreds of school districts canceled classes in new york, connecticut and massachusetts. more than a dozen people were hurt and hundreds of homes damaged sunday after a tornado tore through an area of hattiesburg, at least six buildings were hit. later this afternoon, president obama will award former arm staff sergeant clinton romashay, the medal of
honor. in belgium australian artist won three grammys, including record of the year. mumford and sons won the night's biggest surprise, and there's a focus on the dress code. so who violated the dress code and who didn't? >> as you can see, i read the memo. >> you look gorgeous, and you inspired the memo. >> yikes. >> i think they did a long time ago. she may have been mocking the memo, but technically she did follow the rules, and she looked great.
>> my name is chief warrant officer kelly morgan. i serve with the new hampshire marshall guard, and i'm finally proud to announce publically that i'm a lesbian. >> that was charlie morgan coming out on national television on this program with me, the day the military ended don't ask don't tell, but the american hero and friend of this program just passed away yesterday morning succumbing to breast cancer. that left her wife and her child without any of the military benefits that a straight couple would receive. however, this just in. defense secretary leon pan et wra is extending some benefits to same-sex partners. this historic announcement came just in the last few minutes. joining me now is allison
robinson, executive director of out serve service members legal defense network. allison, it's great to have you here. i want to talk to you about charlie's family, but, first, your reaction to he leon panetta and this major announcement. >> well, thomas, thank you. you know, secretary panetta has now done just about all they can do. there are a couple of issues that remain to be resolved, but for the most part he has now done all that the pentagon can do to offer benefits to same-sex military families. what stands in the way today is the defense of marriage act. that's what's preventing charlie's wife, karen, and their daughter from receiving a substantive amount of benefits that would make their lives so much easier going forward. >> how are karen and the family doing? charlie was valiant in her battle against breast cancer, and also valiant on the frontlines of marriage equality and the battle for service members to get the equity that they deserve. how are they holding up, and
have they heard this news from you? >> she was a hero. you're right. thomas, she was a hero in the truest sense of the word. she gave the last fullmer of her devotion to this fight for equality, for her own family first. karen and casey are doing as well as can be expected. i know that they appreciate the support that they have received from service members and allies, gay and straight, all around the country in these days. i think that they're encouraged by this announcement, but i think that they know that this isn't all that charlie was fighting for. there's so much more to be done. >> do you think that people like karen would be grand he fathered in? >> our organization is going fight to the end to insure that karen and her family are cared for in charlie's absence. in the end, though, thomas, this
comes down to the supreme court. i hope they're watching. as these events unfold, charlie's untimely passing, the pentagon finally making this move after two years of waiting. the only way is to strike down the defense of marriage act. >> we will certainly be watching as that unfolds mechanics month. again, our best to charlie. thank you, allison. i appreciate it. >> don't go anywhere because we have alex wagner coming up next with "now." hi, alex. >> hey, thomas. 719 years in the making, pope benedict xvi abductatoin. we'll talk about what it means for the future of catholicism. while president obama is expected to push an economic message tomorrow, republicans are expected to push mixed
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